Friday, February 15, 2008

On Super Fast Gro-Food...

I was watching an episode ("Safe But Not Sorry") of The Tom and Jerry Show on Teletoon Retro with my kids the other morning in which they pour a bottle of "Super Fast Gro-Food" onto a seedling and within seconds it sprouts into a mature tree. The first thing that came to my mind, after getting past the fact that the label on the bottle was upside down, was how fast the Eclipse Modeling Project, and in particular its Model Development Tools (MDT) sub-project (of which I am lead), is growing.

MDT started just over a year and a half ago as a reorganization of existing framework projects and components (EODM, OCL, UML2, and XSD) into a cohesive whole. The first release, as part of the coordinated Europa simultaneous release, saw the addition of a UML2 Tools component, aimed at providing exemplary GMF-based editors for UML diagrams. Since then, another end-user component, OCL Tools, has been added to the sub-project. The next release of MDT (currently under development) is scheduled for June of 2008 as part of the Ganymede simultaneous release.

Just last month, two new components, BPMN2 and IMM, were created, and another component, SBVR, was proposed. Proposals for components based on the SysML and PRR OMG specifications are in also the works, and yet another one is about to be announced. It's almost enough to make one's head spin!

A number of things excite me about these most recent additions to MDT.
  • Firstly, the involvement of new organizations (like Adaptive, Embarcadero Technologies, Soyatec, and XML Modeling, among others) and committers (Dave Carlson, Nick Dowler, and Yves Yang, for example) represents growth of the community, which is one of the metrics of a successful Eclipse project.
  • Secondly, these new components have introduced opportunities for greater collaboration not only within the Eclipse ecosystem (with projects like DTP and STP, for example) but externally as well (with organizations like the OMG).
  • Finally though, and most importantly in my mind, these new components will go a long way towards enabling end-to-end integration of enterprise-wide data and tooling in Eclipse-based modeling applications, from business-level concerns (like processes, vocabularies, and rules) all the way down to IT-level representations of information (like relational databases, LDAP, and XML).
These are indeed interesting times! I'll be talking about the latest developments in MDT at EclipseCon 2008 in Santa Clara. If you're going to be there (you know you wanna), why not stop by to hear about ways in which you can be part of the excitement?


AlBlue said...

FYI it would help if you started your blogs with an idea of what the entry is about. Starting it with "This is what my kids do" is a recipe for being ignored. I've seen this on a few of your posts recently, and figured I'd let you know.

Right now, I scan the first paragraph in my reader (courtesy of PlanetEclipse if you're interested) and basically looks like dross - so I skip the article. Eventually, I get to recognise those blogs that (appear to) start with dross, and then get into an auto-skip mode.

So, I suspect you've got valid points to make on your blog, but don't put the hide the key point below some random tangential blurb at the top. It's like advertising but without trying to sell anything.

Hopefully you'll take this feedback in the spirit it was intended; to give you an honest opinion and to encourage you to change the way you write. If not, please accept the intrusion.

Kenn Hussey said...

Thanks for the feedback, Alex. I'm new to blogging, so I'm open to any and all criticisms. Lately I've been drawing analogies between "real" life and my relatively mundane work life... in my mind, it's often the tangents in life that make things interesting. ;)

Jcrowtz said...

> Starting it with "This is what
> my kids do" is a recipe for
> being ignored.

Hmmm. Well that all depends on what is being done by the kids. Me, I like a bit of "Super Fast Gro-Food" on my cereal. It's true writing a blog to please the whims of PlanetEclipse scanners might result in more traffic, but I suspect it could also result in something probably not good for the long-term survivability of the blog: less enjoyment for the writer. Enjoyment trumps traffic any day.

Yaakov Kohen said...

BLOG != blog

I would think that a BLOG is usually written by someone who just wants to ramble random thoughts whereas a blog is something coherent and meaningful. Trying to combine the two is chaos, neither fish nor fowl.

So, if you "normally" blog good stuff, regular readers will go to auto-filter to get rid of the fluff. Auto-readers (PlantEclipse) will pass it up - but those are not "regular" readers anyway so who cares, right? Of course, right.

Bottom line: Write what you want - if someone doesn't like it, they'll move along and you won't miss them. If all you are looking for is more traffic, you are definitely doing it wrong and in the wrong place. One of my best friends writes a constant flow of good stuff - the problem is that I have a day job and don't have time to read anyone's constant flow of random thougts. :-)